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Utir fouirou Coruspoiitat.




HOW to DISPOSE of TWO MILLIONS! The Times has a very clever article on the surplus of our national income over our expenditure, with references to other nations, and what they would do under the like cir- cumstances. From this we select the following, especially commending the last two paragraphs to the notice of our readers:â A little return, comprised in a dozen lines, from the National Debt-office, informs us that in the year ending last September 30th the Revenue of this kingdom exceeded the expenditure by 2,041,1681. 143. 6d. Ac- cordingly a quarter of that sum, with a trifle besides, was applied to the reduction of the National Debt. The whole proceeding is formal and statutory, and, as it would take we know not how many centuries to pay off the debt at this rate, we must not attach too much value to the announcement. But there is no reason why we should not accept the plain statement that for the year ending last Michaelmas the State actually received two millions more than it actually spent, and was therefore two millions better off so far as regarded its pecuniary liabilities and assets. As the State has not had the opportunity of spending more since or contracting more debts, and as the Revenue keeps up in spite of reductions, we may conclude that in due time we shall see a return to the same effect for the year ending last December 31st. OUR EXPENDITURE ON THE TURN. Into the future we presume not to pry. For aught we know, the assembly which is to meet next Thurs- day week will launch into fresh expenditure and repeal more taxes. Few will quarrel with it for doing so. But as long as it lasts we will do all honour, and show all gratitude, to the present happy state of things. It is pleasant to see the tide of expenditure on the turn, and to know that we are not absolutely speeding on with uniform and irresistible force to national bank ruptcy. Perhaps the broadest and most natural way of putting it is that at a period when we are going to an unusual expense upon almost all heads, aftyr abo- lishing an immense quantity of taxes pressing on in- dustry and the middle and lower classes, and, above all, during the collapse of our principal manufacture, we can show in one year two millions received more than spent. WHAT THE FRENCH WOULD WANT Just imagine howany one of our neighbours or cou- frins, near or far, would receive such an announcement! What new wings they would take to their amb ition what buoyancy to their hopes, what new fieldi to their enterprise, what inexhaustible credit! New boulevards, new squares, new edifices, one more magnificent than another, new railways, more ironclads, more docks and harbours, more fortifications, more rifled ordnance, new frontiers, new empires, would rise up by magic. Could a man suddenly find himself treading the waves or mounting the air, he would hardly feel more eman- cipated from earth's vulgar laws. WHAT SOME POTENTATES WOULD DO If some potentates should cast their eyes on this little fact, we may imagine their reflections, What a magnificent army would I have were I there What a glorious fleet! I'd have something to say to every- thing that goes on. The Germans shouldn't cross the Eider for nothing. Wouldn't I square a few ac- counts with my neighbours ? I'd soon restore order in Europe, and open a few thoroughfares out of it." WHAT THE AMERICANS WOULD DO At Washington they would immediately double and triple the bounty, order fifty more Monitors, ten timss as many gunboats, a million pairs of boots and suits of uniform, and buy half a million more horses, to be used up by the cavalry at the rate of a horse to a man a month. WHAT THE CZAR AND THE SULTAN WOULD DO The Emperor of Russia would immediately construct a railway three thousand miles long into Siberia; single line, trains only in one directioil,-vestigia nulla retrorsum. The Sultan would order ten new palaces and five acres of cut-glass mirrors. WHAT THE ENGLISH MIGHT DO, BUT WILL NOT For our part, representing as we do the ordinary cravings of an average Englishman, we must candidly confess that we know not what to choose among the variety of tempting offers that present themselves. We should like to see the metropolis made straight, but, as the railways will throw it into worse disorder than ever the year after, we give it up as a bad job. We only half like seeing the population of Ireland reduced and its inhabitants becoming American citizens. Could not something be done with money there ? All has been done that money could do, and more money would quicken the exodus. Witness the Galway job. Well, let us spend a little on ourselves, and have a few more fine buildings in London-a really good National Gallery, for example. But that involves, at the least, a ten years' battle between all the schools of art, in the House of Commons, and a result abused by nine people out of ten. WHAT THE ENGLISH WILL DO! So, after all, like the clubman who, after hearing out all the waiter has for lunch, orders bread and cheese, we fall back upon the remission of taxes. Income- tax, malt-tax, tea duties, and a few other duties, are all, at least, capable of reduction. There is still left the capacity for being less. Every dwelling-house pays three distinct taxes to the State, besides no end of rates. It pays income-tax, inhabited-house-tax, and a duty on its insurance from fire; that duty we say it pays in effect, for, if it is not actually insured, it is only running a risk to avoid the duty. But the pro- foundest wisdom that an Englishman is capable of is to keep his cake, and not eat it. So we revert to the old conclusion. Let us reduce our taxes one by one, and spend no more money than we can help. ENGLAND LIVING WITHIN HER INCOME England has some right to commend her financial state to the attention of her neighbours. She is omitting nothing necessary to self-defence she is not enjoying unqualified good fortune just now; she does not levy one single tax on the produce or the work- manship of her neighbours which she does not levy on her own, and yet she is keeping within her income. It costs her many an effort, and many a piece of self- denial, yet she does it. Englishmen can spend, yet England spends less, according to her means, than any other nation. TEMPTING BAITS Our own neighbours, and they who are only our neighbours in the most inclusive sense, are fishing for loans in our market. Not a day passes without seeing a financial angler trolling for the British capitalist, offering all sorts of tempting baits. Some of them must succeed, for there is a never-ending supply of people credulous enough to grasp at six per cent. on any security. One would think that fish were wiser by this time, but the baits still take, and our tables are still supplied. A WORD TO THE WISE! But how is it that all other States are borrowing and we not? It is worth a thought, we beg to assure our readers who, with- few hundreds to invest, are look- ing out for a cfiance of bettering themselves. This perpetual talk of war, ahd the inflammable state which talk of this sort comes from and goes to, have some- thing to do with all this borrowing. There is a general misgiving that if money should by any chance be wanted, it may not be obtainable on such easy terms next year or the year after as now. None so prompt as financiers to make hay while the sun shines; but when they are making hay with more than usual activity, we may look for a change of weather. A European war once fairly set in would soon put a few governments in that downward course whence there is no return, and compel them to offer the pleasant sort of compromise with which Greece is said to be consoling her creditors. But why should any Euro- pean State be borrowing except for war ? If, he i 'ever, it is borrowing for war, who can doubt that itfP stock will be purchasable on cheaper terms^ tTo," "^hree years hence than now ? BP tern! s <













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